Great Grandma Lucy

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Lucy Mahnke_edited-1

Great Grandma Lucy…yesterday was the 125th anniversary of her birth in 1891.  She left us back in December 1985, way back when I was in the 7th grade, yet there are seldom days she doesn’t come to mind and there are trigger scents that bring me back to her house circa late 1970’s.  Walking into any antique store takes me back to her old house.

Charles and Lucy (McKee) Mahnke

Charles and Lucy (McKee) Mahnke

I actually have very few memories of the woman.  Most of them come from going to visit her at her home with my mom when I was real little.  I remember we’d always walk in through her back kitchen door, she’d always be sitting in her chair in the kitchen, always with an afghan in progress on her lap.  Thinking back, she didn’t have a television in the room, wonder if she just sat and worked in quiet or if she had a radio.  

Her home was such a unique place, looking back.  She had the old white porcelain claw footed bath tub, the bathroom alone was like stepping back in time.  I remember the room between the kitchen and living room, in which the bathroom was off of, guessing it was originally a dining room, had a single bed against the wall, the bed was always made and I remember small decorative pillows propped up prettily.  There was never a thing out of place.

Charles and Lucy (McKee) Mahnke

Charles and Lucy (McKee) Mahnke

I recall once going to visit and Grandma Lucy sending my mom upstairs to get something for me.  It was a beautiful child’s size wooden rocking chair with a wicker seat.  Mom had it refinished and it was something that I enjoyed so much as a child.  It’s something that I cherish so much and is in my living room now with an afghan she made me in her later years.

Gramma McKee and Lucy_edited-1

(Lucy with her mother)

To tell the truth, she scared me as a little girl.  Grandma had the long skinny fingers, old lady voice and I can honestly say that I don’t recall having even seen her standing, always sitting in her chair.  

In the last few years of her life my maternal grandmother (Lucy’s only daughter) would take me and other cousins to go visit Grandma Lucy at the nursing home.  By that time she was in her 90’s and didn’t say too much.  Still, always with a work in progress on her lap.  

Having learned more about Lucy from my mother over the past few years, I really wish I could have known the woman my mother grew up knowing.  She sounds like she was a spit fire!  Sounds like she worked circles around her husband, babysat many of the local kids, would tell her grandchildren to go in the other room and be quiet when she was trying to talk to adults and apparently did not get along with her son-in-law, my grandfather. Sounds like she said what she thought and didn’t hold back in any way, shape or form. 

I do feel like I have a connection to Lucy.  I have her rocking chair, I have her old kitchen table that her mother gave her as a hand-me-down and holds prominence in our living room and I crochet as she did.  Think I would have loved her like crazy had I gotten to have known her when she was younger and I was older.  

Peace!

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